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How long should a commercial coffee machine last?

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Dean Cartwright

14th Jun 2022

4 minutes for reading

How long should a commercial coffee machine last? Since this is one of a coffee outlet’s biggest assets, it’s no surprise this question comes up frequently.

Whether you’re costing your five year plan, or have concerns your machine’s on its way out, keep reading to understand the factors affecting longevity.

How long should a commercial coffee machine last?

The lifespan of a commercial coffee machine depends on several factors, including the build quality of the machine, its ability to meet the demand of the business, how well it is maintained and how thoroughly it is cleaned.

Starting with build quality, how long should a commercial coffee machine last on average? You should get at least five years out of a good quality machine.

However, as I’ve mentioned in a previous article, about choosing commercial coffee machines, our engineers are seeing some models (e.g. La Spaziale machines) still going strong at 10 to 15 years old, simply because of how well built they are.

Opting for a budget coffee machine is often a false economy, because inferior parts will wear out sooner, reducing the machine’s working life. If you are only getting one or two years’ service from your coffee machine, you will almost certainly be spending more in the long run.

If you are a low volume outlet, a machine like the Expobar is worth considering, because the build quality is very good despite the relatively low price.

This brings me on to the next factor: the compatability between your machine and your business. A machine designed for low volume outlets could do a decent job for many years for a small coffee bar. But put that coffee machine in a busy city cafe, and the demand could be too much for it.

When browsing for a new commercial coffee machine, check the product description for an idea of the volume of shots it can handle. If you have any questions, please get in touch.

Maximising the life of your commercial coffee machine with proper cleaning and maintenance

I can’t overemphasise how important thorough cleaning and regular maintenance is to maximising your coffee machine’s lifespan.

We have written an article on cleaning your coffee machine, so be sure to read through this to make sure you are following good practice.

Setting up a regular maintenance plan is also a great way to protect your investment. This will ensure you pick up on issues early, enabling you to replace parts promptly, avoiding complications further down the line.

After a couple of years, your coffee machine will likely need to be descaled to restore its efficiency, and avoid breakdown due to limescale build-up. We have written another article on how to descale a commercial coffee machine.

How long should a commercial coffee machine last? A summary

When our engineers come across coffee machines towards the maximum end of that range, it almost always comes down to a combination of the same factors:

  • The machines are well built
  • The capacity of the machine is aligned to the business demand
  • The baristas are well-trained
  • The machines are cleaned properly
  • The machines are serviced regularly with parts replaced promptly

Following these simple rules will maximise the lifespan of your coffee machine, saving you money on lost business and sourcing a replacement.

When is it time to replace your commercial coffee machine?

As with an old car, once an aged coffee machine enters the last stage of its life, it will start to cost you more money. Not only will you be paying extra for replacement parts, but you will also notice a drop in efficiency.

Here are some clear signs that it’s time to look around for a replacement commercial coffee machine:

  • Frequent leaking with no obvious cause
  • Severe scale build-up
  • Pump regularly breaking down
  • Hard to replace parts breaking or wearing out
  • Lack of modern features (e.g. electronic displays, steam wands, tea water dispensers, etc.)
  • Machine not keeping up with customer demand

If your commercial coffee machine is on its last legs, take a look at our range, and contact us if you have any queries.

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